Dubai: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall & Fountain Show
March 20, 2020
Today, I wanted to tell you about the three most famous landmarks in Dubai. You cannot visit Dubai without seeing them. They are Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, and the Dubai Fountain Show.
The good news is that they are located right beside each other so it will be really easy to see in one day.
Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building and the tallest freestanding structure in the world [829 meters].
Even though, Dubai is building another building that will surpass Burj Khalifa in a few years.
It features the fastest double-deck elevators, as well as the highest number of floors in a building, in the world [163 floors].
I always wondered what was inside Burj Khalifa. Well, there is a hotel [Armani Hotel Dubai], offices and residential apartments.
Nothing can prepare you for the moment you see Burj Khalifa – it is sooo tall and modern looking.
Did you know that it was supposed to look like a spaceship?
View of the stunning Burj Khalifa
I was debating for a very long time which levels to see. In the end, I decided to visit the two main levels only.
I bought a Groupon [use the UAE Groupon], which gave me access to those two levels as well as an option to skip the line.
There is nothing I hate more than being on vacation and wasting my time waiting in line.
I would highly recommend getting the skip the line tickets. If you don’t, you will probably be waiting to go up for an hour or so at least.
The Groupon was also very reasonably priced and I love getting special treatment lol.
What to see
Level 124 is an outside observation deck and it is quite crowded so get ready to have to wait and bump into people.
It is only on one side of the building [facing the Dubai Fountain’s pool]. Level 125 is an inside level and offers a 360-degree view.
It also has a really cool area where you could walk on these glass monitors and the glass cracks under your feet.
Not to worry, it’s not real but it’s pretty cool. You can check out a video of me walking on it right here.
There is also a gift shop and a virtual reality experience. It was included in my ticket but there were only kids that were lining up for it so I decided not to do it.
Also, there is this green screen picture-taking station, where you can take family pictures and pretend you are falling from the Burj.
View from the top
The view from Burj Khalifa is amazing!! You are literally standing in the tallest building in the world!!!
You can see how the Earth is curving at the horizon [sorry flat-earth folks].
The other interesting thing is you can see how new Dubai actually is. There are only skyscrapers in close proximity and the desert is right outside the city lines.
It was incredible to be able to see the city from the top and it is definitely worth it.
There is also level 148 where you get tea and snacks included in the ticket. However, I didn’t think that the price was worth it.
Also, there is a Lounge even higher.
So to make it easier, here is how they have divided the levels.
At the Top – Level 125 + 124
At the Top,SKY – Level 148 +125 + 124
World’s highest lounge – Level 154 +153 + 152
If you want to know more about the tickets, check out their website and check UAE Groupon before booking.
I am pretty happy with the ticket option I chose. It took me about an hour and a half from the beginning to the end.
Without a skip the line ticket, you would need at least a few hours to get through all the lines – there were a whole bunch of ticket checking points along the way.
This is the outside observation deck
Dubai Mall is essentially attached to Burj Khalifa and you can find the entrance to it right inside the mall.
Dubai Mall is insanely big!!! It is the largest one in Dubai and the second largest in the world.
When my friend was telling me about it [she lives in Dubai], I thought she was joking about the sheer size of it. You can practically live inside!!
There are supposed to be over 1200 stores and over 120 restaurants! Can you believe that???
You can spend hours, if not days walking around the countless shops.
They did have a lot of unique stores, especially clothing and perfumes so if you’re looking for something special you have a lot of options.
It is open every day from 10 AM to 12 AM.
Also, there is a huge parking lot so there are plenty of spaces available to park your car.
The Waterfall with the Divers
What to see
Some of the main attractions in Dubai Mall are the Waterfall with the Divers, the Skating Rink, The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, the dinosaur skeleton, and the camel milk cafe.
The good news is all of them are located on the ground level and there are signs to help you find them.
Waterfall with the Divers is a pretty cool sight. You can certainly hear the noise from the waterfalls from quite far.
It is divided into two walls and there is quite a lot of space around there so you can take pictures easily.
It was one of the first stops on my journey in Dubai and after a 13-hour flight, the nice cool breeze from the waterfalls made me feel refreshed.
If you prefer to go ice skating, you can rent ice skates and enjoy the rink. I do have to warn you though, I saw mostly kids on it.
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo looked huge (10 million liters) and you can see sides of it from different parts of the mall.
We didn’t end up going in it but it did look pretty cool from the outside.
There are a lot of things to do inside, mostly animal encounters. If you want to know more, check out their website.
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
The dinosaur skeleton is located in the middle of the souk part of the mall (ground level).
I really like dinosaurs so I did snap a few pictures.
The camel milk cafe is called Al Majlis, also referred to as a lobby lounge.
They make most of their sweets and drinks with camel milk instead of cow milk.
I had camelccino, as well as a dates cake and some camel milk ice cream. The camel milk itself tastes pretty heavy and salty.
Considering the fact I don’t even like cow milk that much, I would never drink camel milk on its own.
However, it is definitely worth the try and the products made with camel milk were excellent.
The cafe is right at the beginning of the souk area of the mall. You can recognize it by a couple of camel statues situated in front of it.
They also sell camel milk chocolates that you can take home as gifts for friends and family.
We really enjoyed it and if you’re looking for a place to try camel milk, I highly recommend this cafe. It is also really close to the dinosaur skeleton.
If you want to know more about what foods to try in Dubai, then check out this blog post.
Camelccino, dates cake and camel milk ice cream in cafe Al Majlis
Personally, I am not a mall person but it was fun to check out some of the main attractions within Dubai Mall.
If you like malls, you can literally spend your entire trip here.
There are so many things to try and buy – so many different scents and fabrics, it is quite interesting.
The good news is you can access Dubai Mall directly from the airport via their subway system.
So if you really want to shop when you have a layover in Dubai, it is quite easy to get to it – one subway line.
Also, it is air-conditioned so you don’t have to go outside in the scorching heat and get all sweaty and gross before you jump on the next plane.
Here is the Dinasour Skeleton
One thing to remember is that most malls in Dubai have a dress code.
You have to cover your shoulders and not show cleavage or wear very short shorts/skirts or anything super tight.
I saw quite a lot of tourists that were wearing really skimpy outfits.
Even though nobody said anything to them, I suggest following the rules and dressing appropriately.
Keep in mind that UAE is a Muslim country and their culture requires being dressed modestly and you need to respect the country you are visiting.
What I did, is I brought a little cardigan, which I could put on in the malls so that my shoulders are not exposed.
Also, it is quite cold inside so the cardigan can also keep you warm.
The skating rink in Dubai Mall
***FYI if you are looking for Ski Dubai and the Penguins encounter, please note that they are located in the Emirates Mall, which is quite far from Dubai Mall.
More on the Emirates Mall, you can find in this blog post.
Dubai Fountain Show
Dubai is famous for their love for fountain shows, but this one is the most popular and in my opinion the best one.
I saw a fountain show in front of the Dubai Frame as well as in the Global Village.
If you want to know more about those two attractions, check out this blog post.
It is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system [do you see a theme emerging here??].
Every half an hour there is a different fountain show. We watched probably three or four as we were in a restaurant having dinner and just sat and watched.
There are a lot of restaurants around the pool area where the fountain show is so you can definitely have a drink and enjoy the spectacle. Here is a day look of the pool area.
Unicorns like fountain shows too
What to see
There are also these little boats [called abras] you can rent and they take you literally in the midst of the fountain show.
Also, there is a light show that they play when the clock is at 15 minutes and at 45 minutes.
The light show is projected directly onto Burj Khalifa and it includes music and different light effects.
And did I mention that it sparkles between shows… like omg, I have never seen a sparkly building before. Check it out!
I was really excited about both the fountain and the light shows!!!
Don’t forget, there will be a lot of people watching so prepare for crowds. The good news is there is a lot of space around the pool where you can observe.
My favorite spot was on this bridge that was connecting one part of the pool with another. From there you can see pretty well both shows.
I heart Dubai sign
It is free to watch so literally just have to show up at the right time. Keep in mind they start when it gets dark.
When we were there the fountain show started at 6 PM and ended at 11 PM. I would suggest checking online before you go to make sure you have the exact timings.
Sometimes they have one or two shows during the day too but I would recommend the night shows.
They usually last between three and five minutes or whatever is the duration of the song that they chose.
The music that they use is opera, classical, instrumental, Arabic songs, etc.
The Dubai Fountain Show pool during the day
I have to confess something; I did become quite obsessed with the fountain shows and took a bunch of different videos from different angles.
We walked all around the pool, trying to find the best spot to record so I really hope you enjoy the following videos.
1. Dubai Fountain Show – Opera – this is filmed from the bridge I was talking about
2. Dubai Fountain Show – Whitney Houston – I will always love you – my fav one
Well, there you have it, three of the most famous attractions in Dubai.
Keep in mind that they are all beside each other, making them very easy to explore on the same day.
During the day, you can check out the mall while the temperatures are high and visit Burj Khalifa so you can take nice pictures while the sun is still out.
In the evening, watch the fountain show and have a nice dinner in one of the restaurants on the boardwalk.